Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good art Critiquing: The new challenge

People nowadays cant seem to critique constructively, at all.

Most of the current "So- called" Critiquing is split into 2 division:

- " Its nice, i like it"
|---- The Appreciation comment

- " What a putrid piece of....ive seen 5 year old.."
|---- The "Simon Cowell" syndrome comment

On this post i want to concentrate a bit more on the second division as its growing trend on the internet nowadays.

Now a lot of internet users are familiar with reviewers such as the Angry Video Game Nerd, Zero Punctuation or even the Nostalgia Critique and as popular as theses people are there is one thing that needs to be set clear:

They ACTING for satirical and comedic purposes

They are not doing constructive reviews, they aren't being entirely serious, they are just doing this for comedy, so they shouldn't be taken as role model when it comes to giving feedback and critiques.
More and more users have been mimicking their "styles" when it came to other type of critiquing and this is becoming a big problem as it ISN'T HELPFUL AT ALL.

Being harsh and brutal while backing it up with useful tips, draw overs and pointers is one thing

Being completely snobbish, offensive and satirical without any useful feedback points is something else.

Start figuring out the damn difference already.

Nobody likes being assaulted with foul language and jokes on work they took time to make. Dont even try to back it up saying " This is honest, brutal feedback". No, Bullshit, go drink toilet water right now and compare its taste to the one left by the bullshit you support: Quite close.

And good exercise you should try now is repeating your critique pattern on a friend or co-worker and see how long it'll take before their begin frowning and eventually cuss you out.

Thats how critiquing with integrity works: if you cant say it face to face without expecting an a punch to the face or a broken relationship, REPHRASE IT!

This isn't a reality show where the best insults win, people requesting feedback are looking for serious critiques in order to improve. If the only thing they receive is a metaphorically phrased pile of fesses with no helpful content, they have the right to be pissed as they do not grow as artists.

And now i have to tangent on a little episode i had on for a while:

The entervoid episode:
------------------------------- is an original character comic battle site in a nutshell. It attempts to be helpful to its artists by providing tutorials, pointer system and user feedback through forum and main website.

This sounds good so far right, maybe this is going to be as good as while having specific comic book style competition as a fun side project.
Well all this would be fine and dandy if the feedback was actually constructive.

Am i being too harsh here? Am i being a bit vengeful?

Actually i have got jaded with the place after 4-5 short experiences, why?

[]Feedback based on style preferences:

Certain people will base their feedback on the style they are critiquing, hence, since they dont like the style and may not be familiar with the style, certain pointers and critique points are simply "dumb fucked". Im sorry, i cant describe it in better words using a second language. Best example would be: " I would like if it your style was less cartoony"
Purely based on preferences and I KNOW i personally dislike anime but i still try to give feedback based on the drawing fundamentals (refer to loomis and hogarth) in order to explain and point our mistake, yet you wont see me blantantly go "Those "kawaii" eyes are just horrible, could you make them more "real"? " No, thats just dumbfucked.

Thats strike one.

[]Vague and impressive Feedback:

A few people on void attempt to give constructive feedback on comic submissions. This would be a refreshing breath of fresh air if that feedback wasn't as vague as a Duke Nukem forever release date.
Here is a satirical example: " Well there seems to be some problems on a few panels-Done"
No effort for specification.
No pointers to help it out.

This gets really annoying there are absolutely no backup for the critique's points. In the end the post is just a diarrhea of mistakes which remain "somewhere" inside the work and arent remedied as there are no solutions proposed in the end.

-"Simon Cowell" Syndrome:

Do i really need to get more in dept with this one?
Why dont i talk a bit about how this trend has made users quit the site entirely.

Entervoid is a side activity, most of the users have jobs, homework and lives.
Now after tearing yourself in half to meet this fictional deadline, mostly short enough for you to pour in half you creative juice, ending up in a piece of work that is below your usual type of work; The absolute last thing you want to hear as feedback, is none helpful bullshit coming out of someone ass.
Sweat and tears on none priced-FREE work completely smeared with non helpful canine diarrhea typed by someone who doesn't know better than to mimic reality TV for the "LOLZ".
Im not saying people should get pats on the back but they do not have to take idiocies trying to pass as criticism.

General Professional workload:

Penciling : 1-2 pages per FULL DAY
Inking: 1 page per FULL DAY
Coloring:1-2 pages per FULL DAY

Now with entervoid, nooooo tag teaming, so you are a one man army, from scripting to coloring and since you potentially have OTHER prior objectives such as a PAYING JOB or HOMEWORK, you rarely have a full day, maybe a lucky 4-5 hours without screwing over your sleeping schedule.

So in the end, the ideal full page count to have in a 4 week deadline, for a non professional thats just learning the ropes with comics is around 4-5 pages maybe? Ok ideal could be 3 complete pages.
Yet people keep expecting the next Watchmen or Civil War comic and often seem to forget that not everyone can make the deadlines nor can create the next sand man graphic novel and eventually spill shit out of their asses with no shame or self respect.

This has made a couple of people leave the place for good.
Ive seen professional who found more profit doing comics for ACTUAL printing places.
Ive seen teachers offended by the twisted and perverted "helpful" message from void.
And ive seen new people leaving after a verbal shredding when missing the deadline due to personal events.

Of course, the place isn't full of scums as i may seem to indicate, some users are attempting to provide constructive feedback and do succeed. Theses users can be counted on a single hand but at least they are trying to pave a way for a new generation of helpful critiques.

What will i do on my side?

Ignore the comment box
And get better feedback from forums such as or Sketchtavern forum.

To be continued....


StudioRisingStar said...

I agree with you people nowadays don't know how to give constructive criticism. I actually wrote a sermon on this for my christian college ministry on Crits. I disagree about the harsh/brutal part though. I don't believe the only way to be helpful or that true criticism is harsh)(imho). It's about being whole hearted, honest, remembering to treat others as you want to be treated. didn't like my christian spin on it but I was trying my best to help those who have problems taking and giving crits. My company has a certain way we started doing crit time during dailies. It's actually helped a lot of students and gave them confidence in their work and themselves. We don't lie to anyone. we're honest to all of them but we build them up in the process. I think personally the industry is broken on this subject as well as many things. Honestly who said that just because someone has done or seen something one way means that's the only way.

Mark said...

While i have been guilty of the only nice response before, when I do have something meaningful to contribute, I often try to find something I like about the piece, and something I feel could be improved and how. Being nasty to someone and then calling it "critiquing" IS total bullshit, you are absolutely right about that.